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This Web page is based on research of records known to be valid from  State records,  Federal records, manuscripts, and private papers. The Lowrie History  was written by Mrs. Mary C. Norment of Elrod, N.C


As Acted In Part By



With Biographical Sketch Of His Associates

 Published by:  Lumbee Publishing Company, Lumberton, North Carolina

Copyrighted by E.E. Page, 1909, fourth edition


 The book records the events of a period of Robeson county’s history in the years of 1864-1874 as recorded by Norment

 The record was written by Mrs. Mary C. Norment of Elrod, N.C.

 This writer (Dr. Olivia Lowry Schwartz) will transcribe information by Mrs.  Norment but will record it chronologically.

 Passages that have “ before and after” will have been copied directly from the text.


 1584 RALEIGH’S FIRST EXPEDITION  The expedition landed  on the coast of North Carolina, passed through an inlet and found the isle of Roanoke, the largest in North Carolina with a fortified village, the people being declared by these first explorers to be “gentle, loving and faithful, void of all guile and treason and such as live after the manner of the golden age”.  These first English explorers since they could not be called colonists, remained here only two months, had friendly relations with the Indians and spent all their time making explorations but made no effort to effect a settlement, returning to England and carrying with them two natives, both chiefs, Manteo and Wanchese, who received great attention in England and who were brought back by the next expedition.  Manteo remaining to the last the good friend of the white men while Wanchese became their unlenting enemy.  The accounts of the Englishmen took back of this new world, which Raleigh named “Virginia” in honor of the so-called Virgin Queen Elizabeth, set England in a flame, and bold adventurers rallied for a new journey, the expedition sailing early in 1585, Sir Richard Grenville, Raleigh’s cousin, commanding.

1587  Sir Walter Raleigh made ready a new colony  with John White the Governor, with twelve assistants, who were virtually named as alderman, of what was to be the “City of Raleigh in Virginia”.  The colony had 117 people :  17 women—10 of whom were with their husbands.   Roanoke has really a very poor harbor and Raleigh told his people to make their home on the Chesapeak bay, to which one party of Governor Lane’s explorers had gone, but this step was not taken.  July 22 the little fleet reached this coast and Governor White at started to Roanoke island. 

1587, August 13  Manteo who remained the faithful friend of the Indians was baptized by a clergyman of the established Church and was made Lord of Roanoke and Dassamonguepeuk, this being the only title of nobility ever  given to a native of the new world by English  authorization. 

1587, August 18  Governor White’s daughter, Eleanor Dare, the wife of  Ananias Dare, one of the assistants, gave birth to a daughter who was christened “Virginia”, and who was the first child of English parentage born  in this hemisphere.

1587, August 27  John White sailed to England and found the country in a war with Spain.

1590  John White’s drawings were engraved on copper and printed in a number of languages by Theodore  DeBray, the chief German artist and printer of that time.

 1591, February  John White started for Virginia but didn’t get there until August.

 1650  There are those who believe that the settlement on the Lumber river was made as early as 1650.

 1663 Carolina covered all the territory within the charter of 1663

 1706  the author goes back to 1706 to talk about the people and the way they were living at the time in the 1800s.  It was found that remedies were used that were prescribed in English medical works as far back as 1706.  She gives an example of one of them: put three live lice in a drink of whiskey, it being esteemed two hundred years ago and now as a sovereign for fever.    She suggested that the houses were constructed and looked like the ones two hundred years ago.   The author said that “Certainly in no parts of the state except among the Cherokees and a few of the whites in the wilder portions of the mountains, are there so many home-made things.  The house simply abound with them.  The people were good shots and loved to fish and hunt.

 1708    John Lawson known by many as the first real historian of North Carolina, visited  Croatan in 1708.   He said the Hatteras Indians who lived at Roanoke Island or much frequented it told him several of their ancestors were white people and “could talk in a book” as Lawson did; that he saw frequently grey eyes among those Indians and among no other tribes, and that they valued themselves extremely for their kinship to the English and showed readiness to do the most friendly offices for them.  So the the  Croatans were the Hatorask or Hatteras Indians.

 The following information covers many events that happened many years after the 1700s.  The last statements cover the early 1900s.

Early  French, English, Irish and German immigrants who came among the Croatans in the Robeson section seem to have frequently married these Indians.  The name Chavis, now common, is a corruption of a French name, as also Blaux, while Leary was O’Leary.  In building they show much skill,  They have the Indian love for bright colors and when walking in bodies they march in Indian file, one behind the other.  They brought with them from the coast country the love of tobacco and the knowledge of how to grow it and and the earliest visitors to the Robeson section found patches of tobacco near their houses.  They never forget an obligation or a debt, nor do they forget a kindness or an insult.  A century ago they had good inns for travelers.  Their women are extremely handsome and the most noted one among them now is Rhoda Lowrie, the widow of Henry Berry Lowrie, a famous outlaw.  State Auditor Dixon recently visited the Croatans and spoke to a great assemblage of them at Pates, the location of their normal college.

1709  French Huguenots, exiled from their homes, who found refuge in South Carolina, sent certain of their number as settlers to North Carolina in 1709 and these found the Croatans with good farms and roads and evidently long settled there.

The language spoken by the Croatans is a very pure but quaint old Anglo-Saxon and there are in daily use some 75 words which have come down from the great days of Raleigh and his mighty mistress, Queen Elizabeth.  These old Saxon words arrest attention instantly.  For man they say “mon”, pronounce “father” “feyther;” use mension for measurement; ax for ask; hosen for hose; lovend for loving; wit for knowledge; housen for houses.  Many of the words in daily use by them have for many a long year been entirely absolute in English speaking countries.  Their houses have always been neat in the extreme and they are very hospitable to strangers and always ready to befriend white people.  They are intensely proud and boast alike of their English and their Indian ancestors and blood.  While their disposition is peaceable they will fight desperately when aroused.  They are shy as a race, though under the new conditions and in the more Catholic spirit which now prevails they are coming into the open.  Their life has been away from crowds of other races and their homes away from the public roads.   Some of them now show their Indian traits even more strongly than they did a century ago.  Their English love for good roads is shown by the fact that they have been and yet are great road builders and have always had the best public roads in the state.

1719 The governments of North Carolina and South Carolina were made entirely distinct.

1730  It was in 1730 that Scotchmen arrived in the section of the State where the Croatans now are and at the coming of these their records show that they found on Lumber river, Robeson county, a large tribe of Indians speaking English, farming, owning slaves and showing many evidences of civilization.  These held their lands in common and land titles became know only after the advent of the whites. 

1732  The first grant to any of the Croatans is dated in 1732, being to Henry Berry and James Lowrie, two of the leading men, and covered large tracts in Robeson county.  The Croatans were found to be hospitable and entirely friendly to their white neighbors. 

The following was some time after 1732:

After the white settlers began to come in, a part of this tribe went north and settled around the Great Lakes, some of their descendants now being in Canada, west of Lake Ontario, while a number of these people, described as whites, emigrated into the great North Carolina mountain region, the tribe in Robeson county now claiming certain families in western North Carolina to be, like themselves, descendants of the lost English colonists.  When the first whites arrived Indians had built excellent roads connecting their most distant settlements with the principle seat of their government, if so it can be called, which was on the Lumbee river, that being the Indian name of what is now termed the  Lumber river.  One of these roads extends for twenty miles to what is called Fayetteville, and their greatest highway yet bears the name of the  “Lowrie road”, and is used to this day, extending from Fayetteville through two counties to an old settlement on the Pee Dee River.

1747   This is the date that the Scotch first began settling in Robeson county and was after the disasterous battle of Culloden.  At that time Robeson was part of Bladen County.   The ancestors of the Locklears, Revels, Cumbos and Chavis’ were living there already.

1748   William Fort was granted land by George II.

1769      August 9 James Lowrie bought a tract of land containing one hundred acres from William Fort, to whom it was granted by George II (in 1748).  He also entered another tract of land containing three hundred acres adjoining the above tract, the grant being signed by George III.  James Lowrie settled on the land.  Mrs. Norment described James Lowrie as a tall well-proportioned, fine looking, respectable Indian.  The swamp where he settled became known as Lowrie Swamp----named for him.  He raised stock, farmed in a small way and kept a tavern during the Revolutionary War.  He first came to Robeson (then Bladen County) from Bute county, (now Franklin County).    In Franklin county, NC. He was manumitted by his father, James Lowrie, of Virginia, who when Virginia became one of the United States,, was elected a Judge, and was ever afterwards known as Judge Lowrie.  He was of cavalier stock and characterized by elegance and refinement of manners, tall and commanding personal appearance, urbane, courtly and genteel in  his whole deportment.  It was in Franklin county that James Lowrie married.  His wife’s maiden name was Sarah Kearsey, (nicknamed Sally Kearsy,) a half-breed Tuscarora Indian woman, and from this couple all the Lowries in Robeson trace back their origin.  Mrs. Norment stated that James Lowrie corrorborated the above information as well as his friend Silas Atkins with whom he came to Robeson county.  It was also confirmed by:  the late Neil Brown, Esq., who lived on Richland Swamp; the late Mrs. Nancy Smith, mother of Rev. A.Smith, who also lived on Richland Swamp; by the late Sampson Bridgers, fatheer of J.D. Bridgers, Esq., by Henry Thompson: by Nathan Thompson; by John Thompson, by Peter Monroe, and last, though not least, by the late John Gilchrist, Esq., long a practicing lawyer at the Lumberton Bar, whose father bought out James Lowrie in 1791 at the close of the  Revolutionary War.

1776 Revolutionary War

William Lowrie, James Lowrie’s oldest son, entered into the Revolutionary War under the command of the Whig patriot, Col. Thomas Robeson, after whom

Robeson County is named.  William Lowrie fought side by side with the Whites in every skirmish and battle in which Col Robeson was engaged.  While he was piloting Col. Wade and his men across Drowning Creek, after a massacre at Piney Bottom, in Cumberland county, William Lowrie received a severe sword cut in his left hand from a Tory named James McPherson, who reside on the place then owned by Col. Charles Malloy, in Richmond County.  William Lowrie received a pension for the sword cut from the government up to the day of his death, as the record in the Pension Office at Washington City will show.

After the  Revolutionary War the Lowries moved down into scuffletown and built on the place now known as the “Harper Ferry place,”  and kept a ferry there across Lumber River.  Later the Ransoms came from Halifax county.  The Woods’ came from Sampson; the Oxendines, Cummings, Goins and Brayboys came   from Franklin county.  Also the Jacobs, Hunts, Morgans, Scotts and Dials came to Robeson to live.

1791    John Gilchrist, Esq., father bought out James Lowrie in 1791 at the close of the Revolutionary War.  James Lowrie moved from Lowrie Swamp down on drowning Creek, near his old friend Silas Atkins and settled on the place now known as “the Harper Ferry place.”  There he kept a house of entertainment for the traveling public, in connection with a grocery or drinking saloon.  Here he died, leaving land and negroes to his children and a good name to his posterity.  After James Lowrie died, his son William Lowrie married Bettie Locklaer, a half-breed Tuscarora Indian woman (Locklaer meaning “hold fast”).  Thomas Lowrie, his second son, married Nancy Deas, a White woman.  James Lowrie, his third son, never , married.  Allen Lowrie, a son of William Lowrie, married Pollie Cumba, a woman of Portuguese extraction.  He raise a large family of sons and daughters; and four of his sons, viz: William Lowrie, Steve Lowrie, Thomas Lowrie, Henry Berry Lowrie, were concerned in the depredations committed in the county of Robeson.

1792    James Murphy amassed considerable property and was the owner of slaves.  He married a Cumbo, a half-breed Tuscarora Indian woman with a good countenance.  He left the area about 1792 with one of the Hunts and settled on the Great Pee Dee in South Carolina near Hunt’s Bluff.

1812  A number of the Croatans served in the war  of 1812.

1835  The law of 1835 closed every avenue of hope and said in effect that they must submit to being absorbed by the negro race.  Their white neighbors withdrew many privileges which had previously been granted them.  It must be born in mind that this intolerable condition existed for over fifty years.  The croatans have very quick perceptions, distinguishing readily between a flatterer and a friend, and they say frankly that they hold the former in contempt, and esteem the latter highly.  Until 1835 the Croatans could vote and perform militia duty, own slaves, built churches and schools houses and lived comfortably, many of them after the English manner, but a state convention which met that year denied the right to vote to all “free persons of color”.  After their disfranchisement in 1835 the Indians, who rebelled against being classed as mulattoes, became suspicious of the whites and it was very difficult to get any information from them regarding their history, though of traditions they had no end.

1838   Until 1838 they lost the right to vote until 1868, being nearly twenty years before the time when they were set apart by the state as a separate people.

1840 The Bell family lived on Saddle Tree Swamp about ten or twelve miles from Lumberton, NC on the old stage road from Lumberton Fayetteville.  One of the family, Hardy Bell, moved to Lumberton about 1840 and became a merchandiser.  He was a great success in the business.  For several years he was the most prominent merchant in Lumberton NC.  At that time Lumberton was called “Hardy Bell’s town”.

1843    John B. Kelly, Esq., of Moore county, then a practicing Lawyer at the Lumberton Bar, met up with John Strong, whom he knew personally, and addressed him as Gorman.  Strong replied and said his name was Strong.  John B. Kelly replied and told him to be off, for he was a villain.  Having killed a man in Alamance county, he fled to Robeson to save his neck and assumed the name of Strong.  His real name was Gorman.

1860  The 1860 census in Robeson County lists 1,459 of them.

1862,----Mr.  William C. McNeill was walking in his lane when he heard footsteps near his barn and he hid himself as he suspected what  they wanted  and guessed at their intentions.  He asked who they were without getting an answer he told them if they did not leave that he would force them to go.  A voice was heard that he recognized and went to the house to get a gun.  He came back and went to the corner of the fence near to the house.  He asked again who was there.  “One, with and oath, cried out, “It is Lowrie.”  Mr. McNeill went toward the house when he was fired at and the bullet missed him and hit his daughter with a painful but not serious wound.  “On the following day Henry Berry Lowrie  visited Moss Neck, a depot on the Carolina Central Railway, and within a few hundred yards of Mr. McNeill’s residence; he denied all knowledge of the shooting, and expressed great indignation at the guilty parties for having shot two ladies; he sent for Mr. McNeill to go to the depot; he wanted to tell him that he did not do it, but he Mr. McNeill refused to see or to have anything to say to him.  The next day he again visited Moss Neck and was under the influence of liquor he seemed to be excited and several times asserted that he did shoot at Mr. McNeill and tried his best to kill him.”

1862, spring---Mr. John Purcell came upon Steve Lowrie asleep in the corner of the fence, with his gun standing a short distance from him.  This was near the house of a family of Indians, who were Mr. Purcell’s tenants.  “Steve, no doubt, was waiting for his breakfast, as the family  were known to not only cook and wash for him, but also to give the band all the information they could gather.  They were near relatives of the Strongs and Lowries.  The same day that Mr. Purcell saw Steve  Lowrie, he, with Andrew Strong, went to the house of Mr. Henry McCallum, a son of Mr. John McCallum, and took his gun and watch.  Mrs. McCallum asked them to give her the watch, and they did it.  The citizens were afraid to let more than one or two at a time into a plan to capture them; the friends of the gang were so numerous, scattered throughout the country, that it was impossible to make a move without their becoming apprised of it.  Their friends were as loud in denunciation of them as their enemies; for this reason it was impossible in many cases to discover between the two.”

1864-February 24 to 1874 

The Lowries lived in Scuffletown.  Old Allen Lowrie held in contempt the common Scuffletonians.  He purchased a tract of land from a white man who was a small farmer, in a neighborhood which comprised families equal in point of education, refinement and wealth to any community in the county of Robeson or elsewhere throughout the State.  All of the plantations were large in that particular area and some people lived far away from each other.  It is located on the west side of Lumber River, about twelve miles northwest of Lumberton and fifteen south from Floral College.


Depredations committed in the county of Robeson.

Henry Berry Lowrie, the leader of the band, is a son of Allen Lowrie and a great grand-son of James Lowrie whom all the Lowries in Robeson descended.  He is of mixed blood, Tuscarora Indian, and the Cavalier blood of England.  He is handsome when dressed up.  His skin is a mixed white and yellow, resembling copper, the Indian color however, still predominating.  Generally he is reticent, a good listener, seldom talkative, manifesting in his demeanor little or no disposition at self importance.  He is not very illiterate with no books except of nature .  His eyes are grayish hazel and when excited and agitated, would dilate and expand.  He smiled when he was quiet but when aroused it changed.  He had a dark goatee, his hair was straight and black like an Indian’s.  At twenty-six he was five feet ten and weighs about one hundred fifty pounds.  He was physically well knit, straight in the back, his arms and shoulders fitting on well, deep broad chest, and proportioned well.  He was a careless dresser---generally wore calf-skin boots, a woolen frock coat or blouse, breeches or trousers of the same material, mostly of Salem or Kentucky Jeans with a wide brimmed felt hat.  Around his waist was five six barreled revolvers-long shooters; from this belt a shoulder strap passes up and supports behind slinging style a Henry rifle with  sixteen cartridges.  Also, he carried a long bladed knife and a double-barrelled shot gun.  All of the equipment weighed not less than eighty pounds.  With all he carried, he could still run, swim, stand weeks of exposure in the swamps, walk day and night and take sleep by little snatches, which in a few days would tire out white or negro.  He plays the banjo, together with the Juba beating and dancing of Indian girls.

The gang was formed to retaliate on the white race because the Home Guard of the county found Allen Lowrie, their father; and William Lowry, their brother, receivers of stolen goods from various parts of the surrounding country in the month of February, 1864.  The Home Guard found them guilty sentenced them to be shot.

1864, April Mr. McNair’s  house was robbed.

1864, December 14  The gang went to the house of Mr. Richard Townsend and took his gun.  A few weeks after their visit to Mr. Richard Townsend’s they called at the house of his brother Jackson.

1864  December 21 James P. Barnes was killed.  He was post-master at Clay Valley, in Robeson county.  Mr. McNair’s gin-house was burned down, containing twelve or fourteen blaes of cotton and a good many other articles of much value.

1865 they visited Mr. Townsend’s again.  They beat and banged against the doors, and on failing to get in, retired a short distance and fired two guns into the house, but did no further damage.

1865  January, Mr. Harriss was killed.

This death was as a result of the fact that during the war Indian people were drafted to work on the defences below Wilmington, NC.  George  Lowrie, a brother of Allen Lowrie, had several sons two of whom were carried off, and did work where they were sent.  Some time later, they got furloughs to come home for a few days; they were at home ut a short time when Harriss had them arrested as deserters.  It seems that prior to this there had been some feud existing between the Lowries and Harriss.  Harriss had them and left with them to put them aboard the train at Moss Neck Depot to send them back to their work on the fortifications.  On the way there he murdered them both, cruelly and inhumanly.  A warrant was issued for his arrest and given to Sheriff King on a Friday.  The Sunday following Harriss was riding out with a woman in his buggy; after she got out of the buggy he went but a short distance when he was shot and killed.  The young Lowries killed by Harriss were near relatives of H.B. Lowrie, and it was H. B. Lowrie that shot Harriss.



One of the greatest of all the families of the tribe is the Lowries and three young men of this tribe, instead of being sent to the front as soldiers, were treated as colored persons, drafted and sent to work to build Fort Fisher, the great defense below Wilmington.  While they were being taken there by a white soldier they were killed by him, it was believed.  There was an inquest and when it was ended George Lowery, an aged Indian, made an address to a concourse of this people in which he said they had always been friends of the white men; that they were free long before the white men ever came to America and had in fact always been free; that they lived in Roanoke, Virginia, and that when the English came there the tribe treated them kindly; that one of the tribe was taken to England on an English vessel and saw that country; that the tribe had always been friendly with the white men and taken the English to live with them and that in their veins was the blood of white men as well as Indian, and that in order to be great like the English they had taken the white man’s language and religion, for they had been told they would prosper if they would adopt the white men’s ways.  Lowery said further on that in the wars between white men and Indians his people had always fought on the side of the white men; that they had moved to the section where they now were and fought for liberty for the white men, yet the latter had treated them as negroes and in this case had shot down their young men and given no justice and this in a land where the  Croatans  had been always free.

Mr. McNair’s smoke-house and store-room were robbed; a large quantity of pork and a good many other valuable things were taken.

1865 January or the first of February the gang went to Mrs. Ashley’s and demanded admittance; she inquired what they wanted; one answered in a feminine voice, “We want your money.”  They did not get in but returned a few nights afterwards when Mrs. Ashley was away from home.  Mr. Paul was there and they told him that it was Needham Thompson, a brother of Mrs. Ashley, and Council, (a negro belonging to her father.  Mr. Paul opened the door and the men rushed in and ransacked the house taking off with bed clothing, wearing apparel and anything else they could conveniently carry.  The news of the break-in spread from house to house in a few hours and caused fright among those in the community.

 1865 February    “The robber clan drove up to Mr. Henry Bullock’s  in the vehicles pressed into their service at Mr. Richard Townsend’s.  Eight men came in, several others remaining in the yard; one of those in the house kept his hat pulled over his face, fearing, no doubt, that he might be recognized.   ------the house was ransacked by seven of the men while the leader kept his seat quietly during the plundering”.

 1865 February---The robbers entered the house of Mr. David Townsend, ESQ. during the night after the family had retired.  They took many valuable papers, cash, clothes, guns, and a blanket.  They went back several more times and took other things.

 1865, February 28---Daniel Baker, McKay Sellers, William A. Sellers and Mrs. Dr. Neil McNair  were robbed.  The band was composed of about thirty men. 

 1865, February----The gang went to the house of Mr. Robert McKenzie, ESQ.  Before leaving they took his gold watch and other items of worth.  The band became disorganized when it was thought that their leader had been killed.  Quote: “The Federal prisoners who belonged to the band made their escape to their Northern homes.  On their way to Wilmington one of them was conversing with a lady on the train, and acknowledged to her that he had been with the robber gang in Robeson  county, and, as proof of it, showed the watch of Mr. McKenzie, which he had in his possession.”  Allen Lowrie  lived less than a mile from Mr. McK.  Mr. McK. Finally moved away from his plantation and went to Florence, South Carolina, where he continued to reside  until his death in the fall of 1872.  His brother looked after his plantation in NC.

 1865, February---Mr. Dougald McCallum’s family was visited  by eighteen to twenty-four white men and the rest Indians who asked for supper.  They ate in the dining room whose curtains were fixed in such a way that the family could not recognize the Lowries.  Before leaving they took  a variety of things including money.  By 11 o’clock they had arrived at the home of Mr. McCallum.  The white men along with them said that they were escaped Federal prisoners.  Things were taken.   A few of them went down to Mr. Robert Graham’s taking a horse and buggy with one of the  negroes to drive it and the balance remained there until their return.

 1865 Statement of Rev. C.M. Pepper of the North Carolina Conference

Rev. Pepper stated that he lived in the neighborhood in which the Lowries lived in 1865 and was well acquainted with Allen Lowrie, the father of Henry Berry.    He said that Allen Lowrie was a sort of a chief in the community in which he lived.  He attended church every Sabbath.  He was perhaps the wealthiest, and most intelligent and respectable of all the free people in that community.  He was a tall, fine looking Indian,    with straight hair, and a physiognomy that indicated Indian blood was greatly predominant.  He lived in a comfortable frame building, had a farm, and made a good living.  He was respected by the whites of the community and looked up to by the colored.

Rev. Pepper told how  a brief court-martial of  Allen Lowrie and his son, William, was held and they were found guilty and sentenced to be shot.  William attempted to make his escape, but a shot from one of the company brought him down, but did not kill him.  They carried him to Mr. Robert McKinzie’s where they had several others, who had been also arrested and held in confinement by members of the same company for examination.  Sufficient evidence was not given to criminate any of the party except Allen and William Lowrie; the others were released.  Several men were detailed to execute the sentence.  Allen requested time to pray, which was granted him.  They were then led out and bound-a short pause- a loud report-and the prisoners fell lifeless to the earth. 

1865 March –The clan paid their first visit to Mr. Joseph Thompson after night and came up cheering and shouting, “Yankees are coming.”  They took the four men inside as prisoners.  They took guns, clothing and bed-clothing.  They took the hats of the gentlemen who were there.

1866, November 18th---The Lowrie bandits visited the house of Mr. Daniel Baker, who lived about two miles from Red Banks Bridge across Lumber river.   During their time there Mr. Baker was shot in the leg  which eventually lead to an amputation.  He was treated by Dr. W.D. McCallum, the family physician.

1866    Henry filed his way out of the Whiteville jail in Columbus county NC and made his way back to his wife.

1867    Henry Berry Lowry was formally committed to jail in Lumberton, NC by B.A. Howell, Sheriff of Robeson.  This time he also made his escaped by frightening the jailor when he carried him his  food , with a cocked pistol in his hand.

1867, June Mr. McNair’s study and dining-room were entered.  From the study they took another bed, bolster, pillows, blankets, sheets, combs, brushes, a quantity of clothing, etc.  From the dining room they took crockery-ware, knives, silver forks and spoons.

1868    Shoemaker John, his occupation was a shoemaker, and some of the Lowrie gang went on a robbing expedition some time in the autumn of this year.

 1868 January 23 Mr. McNair’s dwelling-house was entered the dwelling house and while the family slept took a candle from the mantle-piece and lit it with a match, and searched the entire house thoroughly.  They took Mr. McNair’s pocket book with $125, valuable notes and other articles.  Also guns, keys, and a fine gold watch.

1868,-------The clan would sometime appear to be somebody else in order to gain access to a house.  A white man who appeared to be a traveler went to the home of Mr. Mallory McPhaul  and  told him that he was from Whiteville, (the county-seat of an adjoining county, where a brother of Mr. McPhaul resided);  that his brother was at the point of death and wanted him to go see him if he wished to see him alive.  When he got to his brother’s house he realized that he had been deceived by the gang.  He hurried home to find that he had been robbed of bacon and other food.  They did not bother anyone.

 1869,----“The robber gang went to Mr. George Williams’ and broke a door down that was on the front side of the house, and fired at one of his sons, but did not hit him.  The family fled, and left the house and its contents in their hands; they, however, took nothing off.  The firing at young Mr. Williams seemed to have been merely venting their ire on account some old grudge.”

 1869,----Mr. William C. McNeill lived on the borders of the gang’s settlement and was visited more frequently than those who lived at a distance.  He was a well-to-do farmer and was attractive to the gang because of what he owned.  He also had expressed his opinion of what they were doing  and for their friends who supported what they did.  When they went to his farm in 1869 they went off with many useful things that they needed and or wanted.

 1869, January 23----News was out that Sheriff Reuben King had been shot and killed in his own house by the  Lowrie  gang.   He lived near the village of Lumberton in Robeson County.  “The gang at this time was composed of Stephen, Thomas and Henry Berry Lowrie, Andrew and Boss Strong, George Applewhite, Shoemaker John, William Chavis, Henderson and Calvin Oxendine, Zack McLauchlin and John Dial.  It has been admitted that the intention of the gang was merely to get money, and not to kill the Sheriff.”  George Applewhite hearing the gun go off rushed in the house to rescue his friend and fired a revolver at King.  The ball hit him in the back under the right shoulder blade lodging in his lung.    After Sheriff  King was wounded he removed his money from his pocket, placing it under the collar of his coat, to prevent the robbers from getting it.  He was detected in the act by one of the robbers, and they succeeded in getting about $155 in currency and $20 in gold.  A neighbor, Mr. S.E. Ward, stood up from his seat and raised his arm when John Dial fired at him hitting him in the arm and side inflicting a painful but no a dangerous wound.    The Sheriff  died seven weeks later.  Things were taken and later found in George  Applewhite’s  house and were used as evidence in the trial to come.

The gang members could not be found for a while because of their knowledge of the dense swamps of Robeson County.  “After a while, however, Henry Berry Lowrie was prevailed upon to surrender to Sheriff Howell and Dr. Thomas, Agent of the Freedmen’s Bureau.  John Dial was arrested by Deputy Sheriff McDonald.  George Applewhite was arrested at Red Banks; Shoemaker John was also arrested, and Dial became State’s evidence in the murder of ex-Sheriff King.  Stephen Lowrie, Calvin and Henderson Oxendine were also arrested and confined in Wilmington jail, tried, convicted and sentenced to be hanged; but an appeal was taken to the Supreme Court.  As is often the case, before the decision of said appeal, Henry Berry and Steve Lowrie, George Applewhite, Henderson and Calvin Oxendine effected an escape from jail and took up their abode in the swamps of Robeson county---thence arose the band of outlaws.  Their escape from the Wilmington jail is, and ever will remain, enveloped in mystery to those outside of the parties who aided and abetted them.  The jail, it must be remembered, was a very strong one, closely guarded, and the jailer residing within its walls, though this is only one of the many mysteries connected with the proceedings of the Lowrie Band.”

 1869, April Mrs. Townsend with her sister went into a back room and discovered a dark man under the bed.  She went to tell her husband who escaped through the window.  The rest of the gang was waiting outside.

 1869, May---Mr. Henry Bullock, Sr. was surprised by some men disguised as Negroes  as he was going into his field to supervise  his farm hands.  “Mr. Bullock was an aged veteran of the war of 1813, and though he was ninety-five years of age at the time of their visit, was able to attend to his farm.”  A clan member asked him for money which he said that he did not have but would go to the house with them.  They found $30 dollars which belonged to the wife and found valuable papers and other items which they took with them.  They found brandy which they asked the wife to taste before they would drink it to make certain that it was ok to drink.  When they left Mr. Bullock’s house they went to the home of Mr. McKellar and took $350 and some clothing.  They went to the house of Mr. M.K. Griffin next.

 1869, November----“John Sanders, a police officer from Boston, and a native of Nova Scotia, at the instance of some leading Conservatives in Robeson county, settled in Scuffletown, and commenced teaching the Indian children how to spell and read.  To cover up and conceal his design he was accredited by the Sheriff of New Hanover  county to some of the leading Republicans of the county.  John Sanders’ scheme of capturing the outlaws was a shrewd one.  Aware that they were anxious to leave their old haunts and the swamps of Robeson, and get safely out of the States to Mexico or to the frontier, he proposed to show them the way, and assumed to be their protector and friend.”

1870,----The clan visited Mr. William C. McNeill again at which time they tried to enter his smoke-house but were not able to and left empted handed.

1870, March 19-----Mr. O. C. Norment was shot in his yard a few feet from the door.  Mr. Norment heard something outside his house and opened the door and started outside when he was shot.  He was shot when he thought he heard footsteps and went outside to check he leaped toward the open door and his wife helped him get inside.  He told his wife to close the door and get him his rifle in case they might attempt to come inside and she did as he asked.  She screamed until Mr. J.D. Bridgers, her father and several other members of the family got there.  “This diabolical deed spread gloom and terror through-out the community, and may well be said to have been the beginning of the war in Robeson county with the  Lowrie  Banditti.”

1870, April 21---“H.B. Lowrie, Boss Strong, Andrew Strong and George Applewhite made their appearance at the house of Mr. John Purnell, about sundown.”

1870, May----The band visited the home of Mr. Zach Fulmore on the third Sunday in May while the family was at church.   They took off a large amount in valuable articles and money.  “Mr. Robert Chaffin and wife were on a visit to Mr. Fulmore at the time, but had also gone to church, leaving their trunk there; this they entered, taking a suit of Mr. Chaffin’s, a watch-case, key and some very valuable papers that were in the trunk.  They did not trouble Mr. Chaffin’s clothing beyond robbing the pocket of a dress of a small pen-knife.”

1870, August 4----“While Mr. E.H. Paul, a young man who then resided in Alfordsville

Township, and who owned a store and turpentine distillery, was absent at the polls to vote when the band went to his house and demanded of his sister the key that opened the store; she having thrown it away when she saw them coming, replied that she did not have it; whereupon they arrested her and her cousin, Mr. Richard Paul, and all the domestics, and put them in the kitchen under guard.”  They then took the things that they wanted.

1870. August 17----The clan visited the home of Mr. James D. Bridgers after dark and used noises to try and draw the people in the house into the yard.   They did not draw the folks out of the house and they decided to kill their cattle----they killed two and wounded others.

1870, September 12-----Five members of the clan went to the home of Mr. Alexander McMillan, ESQ.    A coffin was being made for a child of one of the neighbors when they appeared in disguise.  They were taken into the kitchen and were guarded by some of the members while others searched the house.  They were robbed of a variety of things of value both in the house and in the smoke house.

1870, October 3-----The band went to the home of Mrs. William McKay who lived near Floral College.  They thought that they would find her brother, Mr. John Taylor, who was said to live there because he had been recently burnt out at Moss Neck by the outlaws.  He was not there.  They took some valuables there.

1870, Oct. 4----This was the time of the Old Field fight which resulted in the killing of Stephen Davis and the wounding of Angus McLean.   The whole band visited the home of Mr. Angus Leach, near Floral College.  He had a brandy still which he distilled for the whole neighborhood.  They carried off a large amount of the brandy.  A lot of gun play resulted when they were followed by men who began firing at them.  Some of the men were injured by the gun fire including Mr. Davis who was found the next day wounded.  However, his injuries were such that he could not survive.

1870, October 8----“On this morning the body of Mr. Malcomb  Sanderson was found near Mr. William C. McNeill’s saw mill in Robeson County.  An inquest was held over his body by Coroner Robert Chaffin, and the verdict was, “Deceased came to his death by gun-shot wounds from parties unknown.”  Mr. McNeill’s son-in-law, Mr. John Taylor,  was accused of the murder.   He was later killed by, as reported, Henry Berry Lowrie, Stephen Lowrie, and Boss Strong.

1870. November---The robbers made their last visit to Mr. Townsend’s in November.

1870, November 19-----John Sanders, a police officer from Boston, and a native of Nova Scotia pretended to befriend the outlaws and their families so that they could be captured.  He knew that they wanted to leave the county and so he agreed to help.  “He had wagons packed with the their families because the outlaws had fully agreed to slip off with them under the cover of darkness, Sanders having arranged beforehand to have them intercepted at some designated point in Georgia.  To bind the Scuffletonians to his confidence by extraordinary means, he pretended to organize Masonic lodges throughout Scuffletown whilst teaching school.  He spent over twelve months in persevering cunning to win the skeptical hearts of the bandits, and in order to appease the white population, told the uninitiated that he was a veritable Ku Klux.  He got into several fisticuff fights with white men, about his manner and mode of living, on account of his living among the Scuffletonians and teaching school among them.  Sanders was a large, portly man, of great muscular power possessing a kind, benignant look, a high, broad forehead, winning manners, with much keenness of apprehension and undoubted boldness.  But he was betrayed, and there is reason to believe that his fate is to be attributed to the want of due caution on the part  of some one who had learned his purposes.  He died as he had lived in a mystery and out of the reach or sight of pitying man.”

1870, November 20-----“About the middle of November of 1870, a detective who had been employed to watch the movements of the Lowrie gang of this county, established a camp in a bay near Moss neck for the purpose of prosecuting his mission with as much secrecy as possible.  The camp was near the house of Mr. W.C. McNeill whose son, Malcom, was in the habit of visiting the camp occasionally, and giving Mr. Sanders such assistance as he could.  On Sunday, November 20, he met with three young men whom he knew to be reliable and planned to meet them after night at the camp of Mr. Sanders.  They met at the camp about 4 o’clock in the afternoon to await the arrival of Mr. McNeill, who did not reach the camp until about 7 o’clock p.m.  When Mr. McNeill approached the camp he could see the men he was supposed to meet.  They told him that the camp was surrounded by the robbers and that if he attempted to escape he would be shot.  Mr. McNeill reached for his pistol and four men arose among the bushes with cocked guns and warned him that he was their prisoner.  The men were Henry B. Lowrie, Stephen Lowrie, George Applewhite, and Boss Strong.  McNeill then took his position around the camp fire but after a short time H.B. Lowrie summoned him to go with him a short distance from the camp;  H.B.Lowrie told him that he wanted to know where Sanders was.  H.B. Lowrie went on to say that he was told by a respectable white man that he, Mr. McNeill,  was harboring Sanders and doing all that he could to assist him in hunting down the gang.  Mr. McNeill told him that he had seen Sanders, last Saturday week.  After that Stephen Lowrie took Mr. McNeill out for a chat and got the same information.  All of them stayed there the remainder of the night.  Later that night, Sanders appeared and suttendered.”

1870, November 21----“  John Sanders, a police officer from, and a native of Nova Scotia, was taken captive by Henry Berry Lowrie and the other bandits on the of November 21 in a bay near the residence of W.C. Mc Neill and was never again seen by mortal eyes except by the outlaws.  On the night previous to his capture H.B. Lowrie and his associates had fifty-six of the Indians of Scuffletown as accomplices, guarding the roads to give the signal when Sanders would enter their lines, and when poor Sanders entered their lines he heard the rough word, “Halt!”  Almost immediately the voice of Sanders was heard by some other white prisoners saying, “I surrender.”  The outlaws then marched Sanders off to a secret camp on the Back Swamp, called the “Devil’s Deer,” (den) between Inman’s bridge and the Back Swamp, not far from the residence of Zach T. McLaughlin, and proceeded forth with  devilish malignity to torture him by firing volleys over his head, bruising him with gun-stocks and clubs, and finally by administering doses of arsenic to him and opening his veins with a pen-knife.  This continued for three days.”  He was allowed to write a farewell letter to his wife and family which was mailed to them.  Information about what happened was told by Henderson  Oxendine, one of the outlaws who was later hanged.  His execution  was confirmed by Henry Berry Lowrie who told several white men in the county that they had to kill Sanders to save themselves.  After Henderson Oxendine was hanged a party of 25 soldiers and citizens led by Major Thomas and Lieutenants Howe and Simpson followed the direction given by Oxendine in his confession and found the camp where Sanders had been kept.  It was in the thickest part of Back Swamp, on an oak island, and scattered around were the spade and some cooking utensils.   After searching they found Sander’s remains which were wrapped in a blanket.  Sanders was  layed to rest in a coffin by the Sheriff of the county.”

1869    Mr. Thompson was visited again with the purpose of murdering a man named Perry, who was superintending  Mr. Thompson’s farm.  The gang had been told that Perry was at the head of the party.  Stephen Lowrie and three armed men found  Mr. Thompson and arrested him.  Mr. Perry escaped through a back door.  The gang then returned Mr. Thompson to his farm.

1870   Many years after 1870 the author wrote about the HOME OF RHODA LOWERY but referred back to 1870 as the time that her husband, Henry Berry Lowry, was leading the gang.  She wrote that even though Rhoda must have been almost 60 she looked like a 40 year old woman.  Her father was a Yankee and her mother a Sweet, the latter being a family in South Carolina who lived in a place where there are several of the Croatan families, one of these having formerly been the Dirigos, though this is corrupted into quite another name.  She spoke of her husband as being the handsomest man she ever saw.  She had several acres of ground and raised on it everything she needed.  The names Lowery, Locklear, Oxendine, Dial, Bullard, Sampson, Brooks, and Chavis were heard, those of Locklear and Lowery predominating.  It was found that the Raleigh colonists names of Lowery, Sampson, Harris, Jones, Brooks and Chavis were matched by the students, while in the community  the names of a score of the white colonists are perpetuated. 

1871    Shoemaker John was found guilty of crimes in the March superior in Robeson and was sentenced to serve ten years in the State’s penitentiary.  He appeared to be happy to get there because the Lowrie gang had threatened to kill him on sight.

1871, February

Mr.  Mc Nair was on his way to Red Banks; when he was about a mile from the Banks, he met four of the robber clan in a turpentine wagon; they ordered him to stop or they would shoot him.  He checked his horse, and Steve Lowrie walked up and caught his bridle; H.B. Lowrie and Boss Strong then went up to him, took him by his hands, one on each side, and inquired if he had a pistol; he told them he did not and pushed Boss Strong from him.  Boss then took his buggy whip and struck him across the head with it one time, and one of the others struck him with his gun;  Steve Lowrie then called out and said:  “Boys, I told you not to hurt him.”  Henry Berry then searched his pockets, taking his pocket-book and several letters that he was carrying to the office to be mailed.  He handed the letters to Tom Lowrie, and he kept the pocket-book, stepping to one side to examine its contents.  After he had satisfied himself as to what it contained, he turned to Mr. McNair and asked him which he preferred to have his pocket-book and go back home or for him (H.B. Lowrie) to keep the pocket book and allow Mr. McNair to go to the Banks.  He replied that he had business at the Banks, and he intended going unless they killed him, and he wanted both the pocket-book and letters, which Tom Lowrie had still in possession.  Henry Berry gave him the pocket-book, telling him he had but fifteen dollars in it he would not take it.  Tom Lowrie handed him two of the letters, retaining five.  They then told him he could go on, but to say nothing to any one about meeting them; but he paid no attention to the last order.

1871, February 26-----“On a Saturday night 13 young men captured Henderson Oxendine, 28,  in the house of his brother-in-law, George Applewhite.  He was committed to jail in Lumberton on a Monday morning.  Even though he had a price on his head they took him in to be tried.  He was sentenced to be hanged.   John Dial who was an Indian turned State’s evidence and saved himself.”

1871, March---“In March, 1871 a plan formed for ridding and freeing entirely Robeson county of the Lowrie outlaws was entered into by F.M.Wishart, Mudoch A. McLean, George L. McKay, Frank McKay, John A. McKay, W.H. McCallum, J. Douglas McCallum, Archie D. McCallum,  Archie J. Mc Fadyen, Malcom McNeill, (Greeley) and Faulk J. Floyd, and persistently carried out.”

1871, April 15-----Henderson Oxendine was hanged inside the jail yard at Lumberton.

1871, April 21----“The Sheriff of the county, Rod. McMillan and seven other men surrounded H.B. Lowrie’s house and discovered that the whole band was inside.  They went to get others to help so that they might capture the whole outlaw gang.  While this was in progress H.B. Lowrie  and the other outlaws made their escape through a “trap door and a tunnel”, dug some distance from the house of H.B. Lowrie, as was afterwards ascertained; and they (the outlaws) throwing themselves back on the road which they supposed would be traveled by the Sheriff on his return, ambuscaded the recruits as they were crossing the Back Swamp and fired on them, killing instantly Mr. Giles Inman, a youth aged eighteen years, and wounded Mr. Frank McKay.  Some time after this happened H.B. Lowrie informed Mr. Inman that he was sorry that he had killed his son Giles.”

1871, June  was the last raid made on Mr. McNair. 

1871, July 8-----“The County Commissioners called out ten men in each Township to serve one week by turns, and place the men under command of F.M. Wishart with headquarters at Buie’s Store in the heart of Scuffletown.  He began duty on July 8, 1871.”

1871, July 10-----“On July 10, 1871, several persons suspected of harboring and sympathizing with the outlaws were arrested by order of the Sheriff, including the wives of H.B. Lowrie, George Applewhite, and Andrew Strong.  The party who arrested the wives of the outlaws were fired on from an ambuscade by the outlaws when near Buie’s Store, immediately on the railway, and Archibald A. McMillan was instantly killed, and Archibald Brown and Hector McNeill were mortally wounded, from the effects of which they died next morning.  Berry Barnes and Alex. Brown  were also slightly wounded.  Notwithstanding these casualties the other four men returned the fire and caused the outlaws to retreat to the woods.  They carried the prisoners in triumph and delivered them to Col. F.M. Wishart.  On the same evening the outlaws engaged a company of men under Capt. Charles McRae, at a point on Lumber River known as “Wire-Grass Landing,” about 5 o’clock p.m.”

1871, July 14  Five armed men were seen approaching Mr. McNair’s house about daylight.  Mrs. McNair thinking that it was some of the militia ordered breakfast to be prepared for them.  When breakfast was ready Mr. McNair came out and told her that it was the Lowrie band and they wanted something to eat.  They went into breakfast taking their arms with them.  They wanted Mr. McNair to write a letter for them, to take it down to Lumberton and deliver it to Col. Sinclair and Sheriff McMillan ordering the release of their wives who had been arrested a few days earlier.  They ate breakfast and left.  Mr. McNair went to Lumberton to deliver the letter to the parties named and also to use his influence in behalf of the women kept in confinement.   “Mr. McNair wrote the following note:  Mr. James Sinclair:  If our wives are not released and sent home by next Monday morning there will be worse times in Robeson county than there ever has been yet,.  We will commence and drench the county in blood and ashes.   Signed.  H.B. LOWRIE, STEVE LOWRIE, AND ANDREW STRONG.”  Mr. McNair arrived in Lumberton about 10 o’clock a.m. and gave the note to James Sinclair, who, after reading it, directed him to hand it to the Sheriff, which he did, and after the Sheriff read it, he told Mr. McNair to inform the outlaws  that the people of Robeson county were not to be tampered with in that way, and driven by mere threats into measures by these outlaws  and the white men of Robeson in all time to come branded as cowards.  Mr. McNair returned and met the outlaws about three miles below his residence, on the road to Lumberton and delivered the message of the Sheriff to them, which they received with dark, ominous scowl, but offered no violence to Mr. McNair.”  The next week Adjutant-General Gorman arrived with part of a company of Federal soldiers, asking the county of Robeson for an equal number of volunteers to co-operate with him in capturing the outlaws ,and twenty-eight men responded and stayed with him for two months and were disbanded without capturing a single outlaw.”

1871, July 17----“Two brothers, Murdoch A. McLean and Hugh McLean, were killed in the a.m. on the public road, one mile south of Maxton, on the Carolina Central Railway, near a mill on Black Branch in full view of the residence of Mrs. Margaret McLean.”

1871, August----This was the last time that the entire band went to visit Mr. Bridgers’ house.

1871, November 1----The Lowrie robbers went into the residence of Mr. Angus S. Baker about 9  o’clock p.m. and took household items among other things.

1872, February 19-------“On the morning of this date it was discovered that the robber clan had committed robberies.    Two of the young gentlemen were out early going to their places of business and discovered the iron safe from the Sheriff’s office  in the street about fifty yards from the Court House.  An alarm went off.  Another thing found missing was a horse and dray, from the stables of Mr. A.W. Fuller.  The business of Pope and McLeod was found to have been broken into.  They found their safe was missing and had contained a large amount of money belonging to the firm, as well as that of others which had been deposited with them for safe keeping; all their valuable papers and books were also in the safe; in addition to this, they took dry goods, ready made clothing, boots, shoes, guns, etc.”  A key was found in the pocket of  Tom  Lowrie  when he was killed which fitted the lock of the front door of the store robbed, and it was supposed they entered the store with the false key, locked it, and passed out through the back door.  It was the next day after their visit to Lumberton, and over the division of that night’s spoils, that Henry Berry Lowrie lost his life by the accidental discharge of his own gun.”

1872, February 20----“Early on the morning of February 20, 1872, between daylight and sunrise, the whole band of outlaws returned to the house of Tom Lowrie after their raid on Lumberton, having on the previous night entered the store of Messrs. Pope and Mcleod, and abstracting there from an iron safe, and proceeding thence to the Court House and entering the Sheriff’s office and taking along his iron safe, proceeded forthwith to leave Lumberton by way of the turnpike road leading across the country by Morrisey’s mill.  Finding their load too heavy, they dropped the Sheriff’s safe on the streets of Lumberton and went on with the safe of Messrs. Pope and McLeod to a distance of about three miles and rifled it of the whole of its contents, getting in all about twenty-two thousand dollars.  The band then wended its way to the house of Tom Lowrie, in  Scuffletown, and, being fearful of pursuit built up a fire near the crib of Tom Lowrie and commenced fixing their fire arms, in case they would be attacked by any party in pursuit of them; and here the outlaw chief, Henry B. Lowrie, terminated his own earthly career.  Whilst attempting to draw a load out of his double barrel gun, the gun slipping in his hand, the hammer of one of the barrels struck against a sill of the crib and the gun went off, the load taking effect in Henry Berry Lowrie’s face and forehead, tearing away his nose and the greater portion of his forehead.  He died almost instantly.  Thus perished the great robber chief of Robeson county.  Preparations were set on foot immediately for his burial.  A party of Indians went to the saw mill of Mr. Archibald Buie for lumber, which had to be sawed.  When the lumber was obtained.  Jesse Oxendine (being a carpenter) was called in and made the coffin the other outlaws standing guard all the time.  When all the necessary preparations were completed, the remains of the dead robber chief were temporarily placed in a shallow grave under Tom  Lowrie’s crib.  On the following night, near mid-night, the remaining outlaws took up the body of the dead robber chief and carried it off and buried it, where, in all human probability no white man will ever find out.  He was twenty-six years old.  He was said to have had a good deal of money in his possession at this time, as his comrades in arms often reported to outsiders that he was in the habit of appropriating----the lion’s share-----to his own use of all the money taken, giving to the other outlaws the other booty.  No member of the band, not even Boss Strong, nor  his wife, Rhoda Lowrie, knew where he kept his money.  Diligent search has been made by the remaining members of the gang to find his treasure chest, but as yet “it is love’s labor lost.”  For some time after the death of Henry Berry Lowrie, his companions denied all knowledge of his fate; even his relations professed to be ignorant of it, but the facts, one by one, leaked out through different individuals of the Indian race, who saw the dead robber chief whilst “lying in state”  before his interment.  The main object in keeping his fate concealed from the public seems to have been to keep the timid whites in awe of the “outlaw gang,” and to prevent those who were endeavoring to capture him from getting his body.  This course of conduct on the part of the “outlaw gang” and the Indians generally, was in accordance with their previous course.  When George Applewhite was shot, and Boss Strong killed, they endeavored to divert public attention by telling various tales in regard to the fate of each, in which there was not one particle of truth; but now, at this writing, inasmuch as Steve Lowrie, the last outlaw, has also gone to the “spirit land,” and the reign of the gang terminated, and there being no need of mystery in regard to the fate of the robber chief; several Indians in Scuffletown are outspoken in regard to the manner in which Henry Berry Lowrie met his fate, and they all verify the facts as above recited.”

1872, March 6----“James McQueen alias Donahoe  went to Scuffletown alone and to check out the outlaws  and their habits and where they lived for some months.  Then he got himself a Henry rifle and cooked up provisions to last him three days, and went into the dreary swamps of Scffletown and arrived at the house of Andrew Strong on the south side of Lumber river, about one mile from Harper’s Ferry and about ten miles from Maxton on the Carolina Central Railway.”

1872,  Thursday, March 7-----“James McQueen or Donahoe arrived at the house of Andrew Strong on this date.  He made a blind about a hundred and fifty yards from the house and watched for the rest of the night and all the next day and ate the food that he had cooked.  Andrew appeared on Friday, March 8, looked around and then went into the house and came back and gave a low call and Boss Strong came out of the woods to the house; they were well armed.Donahoe looked in through the cat hole in the door and saw Miss Cummings and Flora Andrew’s wife.  Boss laid down on the floor with his feet to the fire and his head towards me, and began playing on a mouth harp; then Donahoe pushed his rifle (a Henry) through the cat-hole until it was not over three feet from his head and took a steady aim by the light and shot; when the gun fired the women screamed and said “He’s shot!’.  Donahoe  withdrew his gun.  Boss’ arms and legs fell straight from his body, and there was a little movement of his shoulders as if he was trying to get up.  Andrew Strong remained in the shadow of the chimney corner, and he stayed there until Donahoe left.  Andrew sent his wife out to look around.  Boss was shot in the head.  Donahoe left and came back later with other men and found Rhoda Lowrie, wife of Henry B. Lowrie and sister to Boss and Andrew Strong, wiping up the blood on the floor that had come from Boss’ head.  Women were there but the body of Boss Strong was not because the men had removed it to a secluded spot and told the women not to tell.  Donahoe and his party did not find the body of Boss Strong.

1872, May 16------“Col. F. M. Wishart who was a Confederate officer, and served throughout the war between the states.  He was killed on the main road leading from Lumberton to Rockingham, in Richmond county, about one and a half miles from Lebanon Presbyterian Church, on the south side of Lumber River, and about two miles from Red Banks bridge, where he had gone alone to have an interview with the outlaws, in accordance with an agreement made with them at Moss Neck on the previous Friday.

1872, May 23-----“The  Robesonian newspaper gives the details of the Col. F.M. Wishart death.”

1872, July 15------“The Lowrie outlaws sent a message to Col. F.M. Wishart’s two brothers, A Strong Wishart and Robert E. Wishart to leave the county or they might expect to be killed.  Instead of obeying the orders of the outlaws, they armed themselves with Spencer rifles and getting two others to join them set out on the 17th of July for the swamps of Scuffletown, to hunt the outlaws.  On the 18th of July they were informed that Tom Lowrie one of the outlaws was in the habit of visiting the house of Furney Prevatt.  They went there and waited all night and the whole next day until after dark and then they went nearer to the house in order to watch the movements.  Soon  Tom Lowrie came out of the house with a woman and went into a crib near by.  They heard Tom say that he intended to go next day to Union Chapel to a public speaking that was to come off there.  They decided to try to intercept the outlaw on his way to Union Chapel.  They took a guide and stopped where the road crossed the Holly Swamp.  They stayed there until the dawn of the morning of July 20th.  The next morning they heard voices approaching them in the direction of the Prevatt house.  It was Tom Lowrie and Furney Prevatt .  Mr. James McKay fired on him.  Mr. A.S. Wishart fired on him also, with a Spencer rifle, the ball passing clear through his body.  However, he ran some fifty yards and fell with a heavy groan.  Mr. A. S. Wishart  procuring  the assistance of Mr. David Davis, and pressing a wagon that was passing at the time, removed the body of the dead outlaw out of the swamp taking off of his person three pistols, a Spencer rifle, a gold watch, which belonged to Mr. John McNair, one hundred and thirty dollars in currency and a Spanish dollar.  The company placed the body in a wagon and proceeded with it to Lumberton, and formally delivered it to the Sheriff of the county, who paid them two hundred dollars, the amount of the reward offered for his body dead or alive, by the County Commissioners, placing also in their hands the necessary papers to draw six thousand dollars out of the State Treasury, the amount offered for his apprehension by the State authorities, which was promptly paid by the Treasurer of the State, and equally divided between A.S. Wishart, James McKay, James Campbell and David Davis.”

“Tom Lowrie was thirty-seven years of age when killed; possessed broad shoulders; a strong and active body; straight black hair; would weigh about 180 lbs. and was five feet ten inches high.   He had bluish gray eyes and when observed closely, a furtive look that seemed to take in the whole situation at a glance.  He had been twice captured and placed in jail each time making his escape.”

1872, December 25------“At this time Steve Lowrie and Andrew Strong were the only two remaining outlaws.  On December 25 in the morning, they went to the store of Mr. John Humphrey at Pates, a station on the Carolina Central Railway, in the heart of Scuffletown, where Mr. William Wilson was a clerk, and informed him that he had been talking about them.  Mr. Wilson did not say much, one way or the other, whereupon Andrew Strong told Mr. Wilson “that he would give him until train time the next day to leave the county, and that if he did not leave, that he (Andrew Strong) would kill him;” they then left Pates, heavily armed on a Christmas Frolic.  Mr. Wilson, after their departure, loaded up a double-barrel shot-gun with buck-shot, and concealed it under a coverlet in an adjoining room for use whenever the outlaws would make their appearance.  So  about  4 o’clock p.m., on the same day, Andrew Strong alone made his appearance again at the store of Mr. John Humphrey, and after purchasing a few articles of merchandise, turned and walked out on the piazza in front of the store, and leaning up against a post with his back towards the door of the store, Mr. Wilson deliberately fired on him, the shot taking effect in the neck of the outlaw, killing him almost instantly.  Several Indians being present, Mr. Wilson informed them that whoever touched or laid his hand on the body of Andrew Strong, he would kill him instantly with the other barrel of his shot-gun, which was then cocked; he then pressed a wagon and a pair of mules and compelled John Humphrey, Floyd  Oxendine and two other Indians, (names not recollected) to place the body of Andrew Strong in the wagon and accompany him, with the remains of the dead outlaw, to Lumberton, where the whole party arrived sometime after nightfall, and formally delivered the body of Andrew Strong to the Sheriff of the county, who identified it as the body of Andrew Strong, and paid forthwith the reward which had been offered for the body of Andrew Strong, dead or alive, and fixed up the papers for Mr. Wilson to draw from the State Treasury the amount offered by the State, which amount the State Treasurer paid Mr. Wilson as soon as he presented the papers.  Andrew Strong was the elder brother of Boss Strong and was in his twenty-fourth year.  He was a little over six feet high, tall and slim, and nearly white; he possessed  beard of somewhat of a reddish color, and had dark straight hair on his head.  He married the daughter of Henry Sampson, another Indian of Scuffletown.”

1873-74-----“The Legislature of North Carolina, at this session passed a bill authorizing the State Treasurer to pay to James McQueen $5,000 for killing Boss Strong.  Boss Strong was the youngest of the gang of the outlaws, and was the most trusted and inseparable companion of Henry Berry Lowrie, his brother-in-law.  He was only around twenty when he was killed.  He was nearly white, with dark, short-cut hair that had somewhat of a reddish tinge, slightly curling.  A thick down appeared on his lips but otherwise he was beardless.  He had that dull, bluish eye belonging to all Scuffletonians generally, and was generally silent and taciturn but he had the demon in him when aroused he had a dogged determined look.  He had the courage of a bull-pup and next to Henry Berry Lowrie, the leader, was regarded as the worst of the party.  He was about five feet ten inches high, thick set, with a full face and would weigh one hundred and sixty-five pounds.  When Boss Strong was killed the other men were seldom seen or heard of for several months.

1874, January 6----Mr. Townsend’s dwelling-house and kitchen were burned down, his loss amounting to between five and six thousand dollars.

1874, February 23----“Stephen Lowrie was about six feet high, well proportioned, carrying his head a little forward, giving him the appearance of being slightly stoop-shouldered.  He was always well armed with navy repeaters, a Henry rifle and occasionally a double barrel gun.  After the killing of the other members of the band, and he was left the field to himself, he remained for several months very quiet.  He finally began to grow weary of the hum-drum, inactive life he was leading, and he was gradually becoming troublesome.  He drank a good deal, and in his drinking hours was really dangerous.    He made many threats, particularly while drinking, as to what he intended doing were he not pardoned, and asserted positively that he had boys drilling, as  soon as they equaled him in marksmanship they would start out.  Several times within a few days before he was killed he mentioned the names of three young men in the neighborhood that he had decided to kill in a few days.  Mr. Patterson was one of the men who aided in killing Stephen  Lowrie and the one Stephen had mentioned killing.

1875  Hamilton McMillan began his investigations of the Indians in the most critical manner in this year when his home was in the centre of the Croatan Settlement, where he had the best opportunities of interviewing leading men of the tribe.  His first step was to find the reason for the striking English names found among the Croatans, and so these were compared with those on the roll of White’s lost colony.  Out of the 120 persons in that colony 90 family names were represented and of these White, Bailey, Dare, Cooper, Stevens, Sampson, Harvie, Howe, Johnson, Willes, Brown, Smith, Harris, Little, Taylor, Jones, Brooks, Coleman, Graham, Bennett, Lucas, Wilkinson, Vicars, Berry, Butler, Wright, Allen, Chapman, Lasie, Cheven, Paiue, Scott, Little, Martin, Patterson, Bridger, Wood, Powell, Pierce, Charman, Payne, and Sampson are found among the Croatan of this time.  The name Darr, Durr, and Dorr is variously used by these people and really Dare.  Their pronunciation is broad and they use great numbers of old English words.  Families bearing the names Dorr or Durr are to be found in the western part of North Carolina and these are claimed by the Croatans, who assert that the Dares, Coopers, Harvies, and a few others retain the purity of blood and were generally the pioneers of immigration.

They have a tradition of their leader or chief who went to England but have not preserved his name, speaking of him as Mayno or Maynor, but a woman of great age spoke of their head man as Wanoake, which may be a corruption of Roanoke.

The name Mayno is quite common among them and represents in their tongue a quiet and law-abiding people.

The great difficulty has been to ascertain the date when the Croatans left the coast country for the interior, but it seems certain that they have lived in Robeson county over 220 years.  The traditions universal among them show they were seated there long before the great war with the Tuscaroras began in 1711.  It seems that in their friendship for the whites, some of the Croatans fought under Colonel Branwell, who was in command of the troops and friendly Indians sent up from South Carolina to aid the North Carolina settlers in crushing the Turcaroras after the great massacre by the latter.  The tradition goes further that the Croatans in this war had taken a number of Mattamuskett Indians prisoners and took the latter back with them to Robeson as slaves, the decendants of these Mattamusketts yet living there and claiming this decent some of them being able to locate the region where their ancestors lived.  It is to be noticed that the Croatans always speak of “Virginia” as the place where their people lived.  They mean the Virginia of Sir Walter Raleigh’s founding.

1887, The people were recognized as a race in this year.  The author wrote that before this recognition a Croatan woman married a negro.

APPENDIX  to the Norment Book

Written by: Col. F.A. Old, of Raleigh N.C.  Col. Olds visited that section of Robeson County in which the Croatan  Indians live, and wrote a series of newspaper articles as a result of his visit.  This appendix contains these articles in condensed form.



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